The complex and diverse nature of the payload operations to be performed on the Space Station requires a robust and flexible planning approach. The planning approach for Space Station payload operations must support the phased development of the Space Station, as well as the geographically distributed users of the Space Station. To date, the planning approach for manned operations in space has been one of centralized planning to the n-th degree of detail. This approach, while valid for short duration flights, incurs high operations costs and is not conducive to long duration Space Station operations. The Space Station payload operations planning concept must reduce operations costs, accommodate phased station development, support distributed users, and provide flexibility. One way to meet these objectives is to distribute the planning functions across a hierarchy of payload planning organizations based on their particular needs and expertise. This paper presents a planning concept which satisfies all phases of the development of the Space Station (manned Shuttle flights, unmanned Station operations, and permanent manned operations), and the migration from centralized to distributed planning functions. Identified in this paper are the payload planning functions which can be distributed and the process by which these functions are performed.